Leave These Things Behind in 2020 (Part 3)
This is the final part of a 3 part blog series on what to leave behind in 2020. You can access Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE. I've shared the first 12 of 20 things to leave behind in these two posts. In this last part of the series, I'll wrap up with the final eight things. I've kept some of my most difficult ones to leave behind in this last blog post.
How would you feel if you didn't complain for 24 hours? I believe it’s a good challenge to give up complaining, since it’s part of our language and our vocabulary. There are many times I don't even realize sometimes when I'm complaining. I've been called out on it by a those in my life who are especially close to me. I think of myself as a positive and grateful person, and if I’m complaining too much, we could all benefit for being more aware of what we are saying and complaining about.
I wrote about Gary Vaynerchuk in a previous post. I listen to a lot of his content, and he speaks about complaining about your latte not having the right kind of milk. In my opinion, I don't think that is something most people do on a regular basis. However, it’s possible that we have our own way of complaining about the latte not having the right kind of milk. Are we complaining about something that makes no difference in our lives? We're simply not aware of some of the things we might be complaining about. This is where feedback from others could be helpful, in order for us to become aware of what we are complaining about.
What if, the thing that we are complaining about is what someone else is grateful for?
For example, let’s say you’re complaining because you’re tired of walking. Maybe your destination is further than you realized, or the weather is bad, or the roads are a mess. It is possible that someone else might look at the situation with gratitude? What if they aren’t able to walk at all? Would they see your situation with a totally different perspective?
Holding on the anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.
The only person that unexpressed anger hurts is you. This has happened to all of us, we’re angry with someone about something said or did, and they have no idea that we’re angry. They may not even realize they’ve done anything to hurt us.
Then we hold on to this anger and it eats us up inside. It affects our gut and it affects the way we speak to ourselves. Let’s move towards expressing anger in healthy ways. How can we express our anger in a safer way? There are many options: journaling and writing, screaming (in a safe place or out in nature), or even throwing rocks into the river! I have a friend who loves to throw rocks into the river, and she gets all her anger out by shouting and watching the huge splash as they land.
Another idea would be to take up a sport that allows you a safe way to release anger, through physical movement and exhilaration. Let’s express our anger in safe ways as we move into the next decade.
Here are the last six on our list of 20 Things to Leave Behind in 2020:
‘Shoulding’ All Over Ourselves
What I mean by this is when we say to ourselves: I should have done this, I should have made this decision, I should have blank blank blank. We make decisions in every single moment of every single day. Some of these are conscious decisions, and others are not.
When we add ‘should’ to our decision-making process, we are questioning our own ability to trust that we are making healthy decisions.
Getting rid of the ‘shoulds’ in our lives will really help us as we move forward into the next year and into the next decade because all it does is makes us feel bad. We can't change what we didn’t do, and we can't change the past. When we make a mistake (because of what we ‘should have’ done), we can move forward and offer an apology when needed.
Another way to get rid of the ‘shoulds’ is to change our habits. Instead of saying ‘I should work-out’, let’s create a new habit. Find a way that you love to move! For me, it’s going for a walk or hike in nature. My habit is to get outside, every day, no matter the weather – for at least 10 minutes. I choose not to use the word ‘should’ if I miss a day. I let it go and focus on what I CAN do the next day.
Body Image Conversations
I've had several interviews with people about this and it's something that I feel we are starting to see a shift in. Our body image conversation is shifting toward an understanding that every human body is different - we are all different shapes and sizes, and we are all worthy of love. Every body is worthy of kindness and respect, and worthy of gratitude. We all want to look into the mirror and have the courage to say I love you.
Body image conversations and negative body shaming of others needs to disappear in this decade.
Another thing to let go of are before-and-after pictures. I can show you before and after of me ten minutes apart and I look totally different based on lighting and angles. With before and after pictures you literally capture a second in time. And then you’re comparing yourself to another brief moment in time. A moment after that second picture is taken, you change again. What if you end up going back to looking like your before picture?
I believe that we will get to a point where we are no longer bombarded by diet culture and with before-and-after pictures, and with stories about how this person lost this much weight on this program. I would love in this decade to see us really embrace a way of eating and caring for ourselves that comes from self-love first.
Overspending and Over Consumption
This is one I really struggle with. I talked about lack mentality earlier in the list and overspending and over consumption are related to this. We talk about not having enough money to do A, B and C and then we turn around and spend on money something else that we don't have the money for either. I am definitely guilty of this! It's something that I've struggled with and I will often spend future money.
I’ll convince myself that new program is going to do super well, so I’ll invest first because the money will flow to pay for it after. I spend more than I am making and end up with a credit card balance.
The result is I can't pay it off because the future me did not produce the revenue that was required to pay off what past me had overspent.
Worrying about overspending doesn’t help, so I am working towards making better choices on how I spend my money.
What about over consumption? One of the results of over consumption is related to how much of our food ends up in the garbage because we overspent on our groceries. Meal planning and grocery lists can help us reduce over consumption.
Sugar is also something that can really harm us when we over consume. I’ve shared many times how I have struggled with a sugar addiction. I can handle a small amount of sugar in a day, but if I’m not paying attention to how much I am consuming, it gets out of control very quickly.
When we assume, we make an ass out of you and me.
How often do you use this expression? I say it a lot! Getting rid of assumptions is one thing that's been a key in my relationship with my husband. We’ve been married for over a decade and we have learned that when we assume that the other person has understood what we've said or what we've asked them to do it results in us being frustrated. By simply checking in and verifying that the other person understood what we asked for, we save ourselves many arguments.
As a business owner, I know that when I make assumptions about a client or a supplier’s needs, it can cause issues. By doing a better job of asking more questions, we make sure that our assumptions aren't going to get in the way of our success.
A Lack of Vision
Why is lack of vision something that I want us to leave behind? At the beginning of every year we talk about New Year’s resolutions or not setting New Year's resolutions; we talk about setting goals or not setting goals; we talk about creating intentions or not creating intentions. Whatever terms we use, we do talk about what we want to create in the year ahead, in the next three to five years and in the next decade. I find this overwhelming!
Instead, what if we choose to focus on our vision of what we want our life to look like?
The reason I’m suggesting having vision, is that's it’s easy for a whole year to go by and nothing memorable has happened or changed. I did a review of the past decade at the beginning of the year with some clients. We went through a couple years where they couldn’t remember anything memorable that stood out from that year.
When we have a vision of what we want our lives to look like and of the kind of person we want to be, that helps shape and mold our lives. Then we create memorable experiences throughout the days, weeks, months, years and decades of our lives. A vision for your life does not have to be complicated. One way to start is to make a vision board or write out your vision on paper.
Here’s the secret sauce: it's okay if your vision changes.
I had a vision two years ago of what my life would look like living here in British Columbia (BC) when we moved from Ontario, Canada. Even though I had a clear vision of what that would look like it's not what happened at all when we moved here. I went back to the drawing board I created a different vision. I'm so glad that I did because what I've created now with my family and my loved ones is spectacular.
Every year, I create my vision and sometimes, I change it halfway through the year. By keeping an eye on what you are working on creating in your life, you end up manifesting those goals and New Year’s resolutions with ease.
The last thing for us to leave behind is judgment:
Judgment of ourselves, judgment of others, and judgment of what other countries and cultures are doing. Judgment serves no purpose. When we judge others, we are asking for judgement in return.
As we move into this next decade, I encourage you to be authentic and share your opinions. I want us to use our voices in a way that is not about judging what someone else is doing, but to speak up and stand up for what we believe in. When I choose a different opinion than yours, it doesn’t mean that my opinion is right and yours is wrong. It means that we are different people having a different human experience, at the same time on earth.
I chose judgment as the last thing on the list because I believe that judgment and jealousy are the things that as humans we struggle with the MOST. Jealousy is what we decided to leave behind 2 blog posts ago and it was the first on my list!
That’s it my friends! My list of 20 things that I'm inviting us to leave behind as we move into the next decade. I would love to hear from you! Were there things on this list that you are struggling with? I hope that something on this list triggered you to make a change and set aside some time to evaluate what you’re going to leave behind. It’s my hope that what I've shared will make a difference for you not just today and tomorrow, but for the rest of 2020!
You can listen to the full list on my new podcast, Wake Up With Gratitude. The episode is called What To Leave Behind in 2020.
http://bit.ly/wakeupwithgratitudepodcast - Apple Podcast
http://bit.ly/wakeupwithgratitudestitcher - Stitcher
http://bit.ly/wakeupwithgratitudespotify - Spotify
This blog is based on a transcript of the podcast, so it’s similar to what I’ve shared in the audio.